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A prognosis is the doctor’s best estimate of how cancer will affect someone. Many factors can affect a person’s prognosis. Survival statistics are one tool that doctors use to develop a prognosis for a person with cancer. Doctors often look at studies that measure survival for a particular type of cancer, stage or risk group.
There are different types of cancer survival statistics and different ways to measure and report survival. In general, survival is used to estimate the percentage of people with cancer who will live at least a certain amount of time (such as 1, 3, 5 or 10 years) after their diagnosis.
Five-year survival is often used when talking about prognosis and survival.
Keep in mind that cancer survival statistics:
Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:
Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis. Ask your doctor about the factors that affect your prognosis and what they mean for you.
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